The Architects' Journal reported that Wolf Prix referred to the Venice Architectural Biennale as an ‘expensive dance of death’ and went on to claim a ‘great’ biennale would have featured forums and themes looking ‘behind the scenes’ at decision-making. mimiz took on the charge "having just come back from venice where I moderated several panel discussions on the behind the scenes making of interventions at the US Pavilion, I think Prix is sucking on some sour grapes."
For the latest feature in the Student Works series Nicholas Waissbluth explored the inaugural workshop for the INSITU program which took place in Medellin, Colombia. INSITU is an initiative founded by Blokcad Lab and uAbureau in 2011 to implement projects that investigate the informal development of cities, its non-consolidated urban spaces and auto- construction processes.
The Architects' Journal reported that Wolf Prix referred to the Venice Architectural Biennale as an ‘expensive dance of death’. The Coop Himmelb(l)au-founder went on to claim a ‘great’ biennale would have featured forums and themes looking ‘behind the scenes’ at decision-making ‘instead of boring exhibitions’. job job noted there was a "Better source at Building Design, but their need for registration denies access to many" and toasteroven wondered "wouldn't wolf prix's buildings classify as ‘expensive dances of death?"
Meanwhile mimiz took on the charge more directly "having just come back from venice where I moderated several panel discussions on the behind the scenes making of interventions at the US Pavilion, I think Prix is sucking on some sour grapes. yes, it is a bit of a bougie indulgence in prosecco, but that doesn't lessen the impact of discourse."
In collaboration with: VisualizingPalestine.org (an organization dedicated to data visualisation for social justice) Al Jazeera released an infographic based on a report by an Israeli non-governmental organisation (Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions-ICAHD). The report contends 2011 was a record year for Palestinian displacement and the demolishment of housing. Orhan Ayyüce commented "As all the hoopla winds down on Venice Biennale about social movement/architecture/urban design and dance parties, another year passes without doing anything about the eradication of Palestinian homes in occupied territories. Spontaneous Interventions..? Nah. It is all systematic..." metal suggest the problem is "One of the biggest reasons why we are still in the middle east" though Tyler520 claimed "160,000 terrorists and terrorist sympathisers".
According to a video report from the Wall Street Journal, an apartment at Mr. Gehry’s recently completed apartment tower in the hills overlooking Hong Kong’s inner harbor has just sold for $61 million. HandsumCa$hMoneyYo wasn’t shocked "Wow, surrounded by that much green space in Hong Kong, I'm not surprised it gets big $$$, yo!"
A coalition of environmental activists and community advocates mounted the first major legal challenge to a planned downtown [Gensler-designed] Los Angeles NFL stadium, filing a suit Thursday that says a state law intended to assist the project is unconstitutional. always asked "Is it supposed to look like a giant football shoulder pad?".
For one of the traveling studios he took during post professional master of architecture studies at Cornell, Yihua Li proposed the Banana Network. The project hoped to use banana cultivation as a medium to create green infrastructure and preserve public space in Rwanda's fast urbanizing capital Kigali.
Ekaterina Dovjenko looked back at her role in architectural selection process for the New Student Union Building (SUB) Project at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She writes "Looking back on the architectural selection process, it amazes me that we avoided any legal action. After all, giving the reigns to the democratic process is scary and giving the reigns to a bunch of college students is even more so. But as we start moving towards greater public input into design beyond simple 'workshops' and charrettes, I see similar processes becoming more popular".
Toronto based PLANT Architect Inc. recently added a number of projects to their profile. I particularly was enchanted by Sweet Farm (1994–1997) and the Dublin Grounds of Remembrance in Dublin, Ohio. Sweet Farm is "comprised of a series of architectural, sculptural, and landscape interventions along a network of paths through a varied natural landscape" while The Dublin Grounds of Remembrance "is a one acre-park honouring the service of veterans and their families. On a site with no prior military significance, the project eschews a traditional 'monument' in favour of promoting the act of habitual walking and social gathering, reinforcing community remembrance and creating new significance for the land".
Over at his blog theperennialwhole began a conversation about "the elusive nature of wholeness". His posts so far have inlcuded; a discussion of the ideas of Christopher Alexander, as well as criticism of the Federal Building in San Francisco by Morphosis as a 'False Vision'. Will Galloway responded "Chris Alexander wrote some fantastic stuff before pattern language. He eviscerated the metabolists in 1970 (around there anyway) with his brilliant essay A city is not a tree that I think everyone should read even now. but his architecture don't make the grade. I used to design large schools (in Japan) for a living and as part of the job our office traveled all over the country trying to learn all we could from the new...So I got to see Christopher's school. And it was not as advertised. Horrible. just horrible. Really turned me off the guy...OK so it was just one project, but I think it was pretty much everything he always talked about, and you know for all his sensitivity the work is actually pretty rigid and all about chris alexander and his method and not so much about the people and the community..."
More broadly while many Archinectors seem to disagree with the general thrust of theperennialwhole’s argument, many such as Steven Ward encouraged him to continue his writing "i think it will be good for you to continue this exploration - and to keep it a public discussion as you explore. i hope you can weather the critiques, because they'll come and you'll (likely) have earned them. your first couple of entries are trying to get at something important but, as has been pointed out, you've thrown some words around carelessly without defining them well enough. i don't take that as an opportunity to be dismissive of what you're after so much as an indication that finding ways to define these words will be your task."
Ryan Panos shared that his master thesis at the University of British Columbia wil be about "the practice of architecture itself". Specifically, he is thinking "of isolating practice issues (somehow) and testing them against a typology to measure the differences and hopefully reveal something about how architects work".
Aaron Willette posted an interview with Rives Rash who teaches at University of Kentucky College of Design about the business of digital fabrication. Aaron explained that as part of his research "over the past year into the nature of craftsmanship in digital fabrication, he has done a handful of interviews with individuals engaging the topic in some manner". Because of Professor Rash’s professional life and his schooling at UVA and SCI-Arc Aaron thinks he is the most 'architectural' of my interviewees and the best starting point for the other conversations Aaron will be sharing here on Archinect.
As a reaction to theperennialwhole’s blog Quondam started a thread to discuss a whole bunch of...objectified deterritorialization. Quondam opened with a quote from the last chapter of Robert Venturi’s Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, which is entitled 'The Obligation Toward the Difficult Whole'. Therein Venturi argued "An architecture of complexity and accomodation does not forsake the whole. In fact, I have referred to a special obligation toward the whole because the whole is difficult to achieve...Gestalt psychology also shows that the nature of parts, as well as their number and position, influences a perceptual whole and it also has made a further distinction: the degree of wholeness can vary.”
tammuz replied "correct me if i'm wrong, but i understand that you are only able to describe any of those above as ‘wholeness’ due to their conceptual integrity as systems unto themselves. however, i find it contradictory (and i mean it not in an eventually/implicitly harmonious way per venturi) that you would mention Venturi's 'diffcult whole' in this context. the 'difficult whole', if i understand it well, is that which comes after the fact - the fact of perceiving so to speak. it is an intuitive easifying (if thats a word) of the difficult whole - which is not so difficult." However, Miles Jaffe quipped "Without consideration for aggregate exurban networks capturing algorithmic armatures across targeted integrated thresholds at various phase-states, Venturi is quite simply full of crap."
Evan Chakroff restarted an old thread regarding can't-miss architecture in Korea.He is planning a trip to Seoul (and possibly other cities...) next month, and has started to compile a list/map of contemporary architecture, historical sites, and interesting neighborhoods. He would appreciate comments/suggestions from anyone who's familiar with Seoul - letting him know if he is missing anything major. fulcrum helpfully posted that the "biggest holiday in Korea is on Sept. 30th, so you should try not to travel on the day before and after. The traffic will be just crazy" fulcrum went on to recommend visiting some "interesting modern buildings" in the Insadong district, Samsung HQ by KPF and Dominique Perrault's building at Ewha University.
Finally, mantaray asked for help indentifying Architecture Etc. in Edinburgh, Belfast, & Dublin? sjniles’s suggestions included; the Lyric Theater in Belfast by O'Donnell and Toumey, the Irish Film Center in Temple Bar, the Berkeley Library at Trinity College "if you like Brutalism" and "Anything by bucholzmcevoy architects for nice detailing. PsyArch added "If avoiding crowds and sensing the city is order of the day, the walk from Broughton Street through to the Dean Gallery/SNGOMA will please you".
If you are in the Los Angeles area and looking for something unique to do, Rory Carroll recently paddled the LA River and wrote about the experience for the Guardian. This year is the inaugural season of LA River Expeditions and tickets are only $55 each. Though the first batch of reservations sold out, there may be more and if not, there is always next year.